Top Ten Tips: Preparing for a Business Sale - KBS Corporate

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Top Ten Tips: Preparing for a Business Sale

  • Get the right adviser to help

It is a big decision to sell a business, all the more so for those who have invested a huge amount of time and money in building up a successful company – perhaps over several decades.

Going it alone with a sale is possible but, when you have a business to run, why not enlist help which is readily available?

KBS Corporate offers a tailored, unique service encompassing every aspect of a sale process, removing the stress of searching for a buyer and freeing you up to concentrate on maximising your business value.

  • Understand what your business is worth

Striking the right balance with your company’s valuation is important. The hard work you have invested in the business means it should not be undervalued, but nor should you price yourself out of the market.

The valuation of your business will cover all aspects such as physical assets, projected profits, your brand’s reputation and the prevailing strength of the industry.

If you are unsure about any element of understanding the valuation of your company, KBS Corporate can assist with that process and negotiate alongside you, or on your behalf, with potential acquirers or investors to maximise value.

  • Assess your exit options

The scenario needn’t necessarily be as simple as selling your business to the highest bidder, handing over the keys and then driving off into the sunset.

Is a clean break the right outcome for you? Or would some time to transition be preferable, perhaps staying on in a managerial or consultancy capacity until the time feels right to completely step away?

As some business owners are seeking private equity investment to stimulate growth rather than offloading their company, KBS Corporate offer a TripleTrack approach which entails exploring every available avenue to finding the right solution.

  • Set your target expectations

Further to the hint above, ensure you are clear about the exact goal you are looking to achieve, and in what timescale.

Is it retirement by a certain date? Perhaps you want to release capital for a new venture or ringfence what you have invested and accumulated. Occasionally, the aim can be to satisfactorily resolve a separation between business partners.

Setting a target at the outset, and sticking to it, will enable you to keep your eye on the ball and achieve the required level of focus throughout what could be a lengthy process.

  • Get the timing right

As mentioned in the previous tip, there might be a specific reason for choosing exactly when you want to embark upon a sale – but if it’s the correct time for you, is it equally suitable for your business?

You may have already circled a date on the calendar for a big retirement party. However, the markets could be indicating it might be prudent to wait for the right opportunity to secure the best possible deal for yourself and your workforce.

Indeed, the best time to sell, and to realise maximum value for your business, can often be when you do not actually need to. KBS Corporate can advise about the most opportune time to test the waters and then guide you through the entire sale process.

  • Preparation, preparation, preparation

Once the big decisions have been made, it’s time for action – and that begins with preparation, in terms of getting your business shipshape and ready for inspection.

Ensure you have the right personnel in the key positions and if it is a physical business with company premises, spruce them up – just like if you were selling a house and expecting viewings.

Other factors to consider include settling any ongoing disputes, clarifying the status of all contracts/leases, bringing accounts up to date and getting everything on point for due diligence.

  • Keep it confidential

Confidentiality is a critical element of the service KBS Corporate provides and it is essential your employees, customers, suppliers and competitors do not discover the business is for sale until it is necessary.

If word got out, it could lead to staff anxiety, rival companies potentially trying to poach them, customers taking their trade elsewhere and suppliers expressing concern about contracts being  honoured.

KBS Corporate’s bespoke, highly personalised service is carried out to a level of confidentiality throughout the process that ensures discretion and protection which surpasses the industry standard.

  • Understand the tax situation for your sale

Often the single biggest cost of selling a business is tax, and a buyer will naturally have questions relating to this area – expert advice to minimise your risks and burden is therefore invaluable.

If you sell your business for a profit, you will have to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on anything above your tax-free allowance.

K3 Tax Advisory, a sister company of KBS Corporate, has a team of chartered accountants and chartered tax advisers with specialist knowledge in mitigating the tax implications that inevitably arise in business sales, acquisitions and restructuring, and can provide you with a full pre-transaction review.

  • Hone your negotiation techniques

Regular contact with parties interested in acquiring your business is important to lessen the chances of them walking away during negotiations.

Most buyers will aim below your target price and while some leeway should be built into your valuation, KBS Corporate can look after the entire negotiation process for you.

The strategies and techniques of our highly knowledgeable team of advisers, acquired over decades of experience within the M&A industry, are available to leverage maximum value for your company.

  •  Take care with time management

Even working in tandem with an adviser, selling a business can be a time-consuming experience – and one that must not impact on the day-to-day running of your business.

What can never be allowed to happen is an adverse impact on revenue because too much attention is being placed by the shareholders on the negotiation of a sale – but working with an experienced provider such as KBS Corporate negates any such worries. We help to manage the sale while you focus on your business.

Another thing to avoid is mentally checking out because you know your time with the business is limited – employees and prospective buyers could pick up on this, leaving you in a compromised position.

As the hints above explain, there are many factors to consider when you are selling a business. If you would like assistance with any aspect of a sale, visit or call +44 (0)161 258 0118 for a confidential, no-obligation discussion.


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